FOR PLANET AND PEOPLE
The changemakers of the future.
Bethia: If you are someone who is living and working with the climate crisis in your sights then it’s good to come back to the core facts every now and then to keep ourselves motivated and reminded of what the driving force is. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released this week offers just that - let’s come back to the facts and update what we know.
(There is much debate about ‘facts’ - Jess and I had a good, juicy one the other day. Yes, we are still friends! Wherever you stand - whichever school of thought you belong to, whether you trust mainstream media or not - most of us can’t deny changes in our weather, the reduction of wildlife now compared to our childhoods. Things are not as they should be and we are under pressure to act).
Some key findings:
Climate change is no longer a distant threat, it is here. The report is more certain, more confident and asserting more strongly than ever that human activity is changing our natural systems and fast.
Sea level rise is better understood and predictions are more confident this time - rising will happen and possibly by up to 5m by 2150 in a worst case scenario - this is catastrophic news for vulnerable coastal communities who are already seeing the reality of this.
Methane plays a bigger role than we had previously thought - carbon dioxide is widely recognised as a major cause of climate change - this time scientists have more understanding of methane’s role through oil and gas industry and of course agricultural practices.
The role of the courts is mentioned - there is a rise in environmental cases. If science, governments and activism aren’t working to move us forward fast enough, then the law will be used more and more as the means to make change happen.
These are not easy things to face. It actually doesn’t matter what your mental/emotional response is - all the way from “I can’t think about it, it’s too much” through to “it’s too late - the damage is done”, as well as “I’m not even sure I believe the hype”, we all need to take action, it is too risky not to. The good news is reducing human impact is the quickest way to do it - we can all do something about it! You don’t need hope, certainty or even much faith - just take action. You will feel better, you will contribute something better and we have been inactive for far too long. It’s our inaction and ‘business as usual’ that has got us here in the first place. What could you do to make a difference today?
Jess: Here are a few ideas to help you make changes for the better! With every change you make the planet gives a little cheer.
Write to people! - Advocate for climate action at your university or school, workplace or town. Support the need for environmental education for all. Write to your MP or sign petitions to support environmental change. Encourage businesses to be more sustainable.
Be community-minded - Organise a community litter pick or pledge to be carbon neutral or (single use) plastic free in your area. Become a citizen scientist. Support local businesses who are making an effort to be eco-friendly. Support charities and community groups that are taking environmental action.
Consider your lifestyle choices - Act wisely and think about your shopping habits carefully. Make simple swaps like eating meat less frequently and choosing organic, local produce where possible. Grow some of your own food (you don’t have to be a gardener, or even have a garden!), swap in reusable items where you would normally use disposable ones. Kindly encourage others to make environmental choices - lead by example. Take public transport or get some exercise and walk or cycle instead of driving. Use car shares. Fly less.
Live greener - Cut down on your use of toiletries and cleaning products, have fun trying natural alternatives! Support refill shops. Insulate your home well. Change to an ethical energy supplier and choose a renewable package. Choose an electric car instead of one fuelled by fossil fuels. Use greener paints to decorate with. Avoid aerosols. Install solar panels or a heat pump if you can. Use energy efficient appliances.
Just do it, as much as you can and stay positive. We are here to support you on your journey to a more sustainable lifestyle - please pick up the phone or write us a message to ask for our support and we will gladly help you.
Planet & People CIC focusses on being PROACTIVE and POSITIVE - we are totally wedded to the idea that this approach keeps energy, motivation and engagement high. It’s what keeps us doing what we are doing!
FOR PLANET AND PEOPLE is a weekly blog conversation by ‘Planet & People’ to reflect our values and behaviours and encourage open conversation on topical eco-issues.
We are the creators of 'Planet Action Kit', inspiring kids to LOVE the Earth. PAK is an educational resource and subscription activity box providing personalised learning resources engaging budding planet-friendly kids. The activities focus on the four main themes: Love, Observe, inVolve and Enjoy and are centred around matters of environment and sustainability.